December Birthstones

December Birthstones

Those born in the month of December are uniquely lucky, with three beautiful gemstones options.

With choices of Turqoise, Tanzanite or Zircon it offers a gemstone to suit any taste.

What is Turquoise?

Turquoise is a gemstone which comes in a variety of hues from sky blue to blue-green to apple green.

It’s name means ‘Turkish stone’ and received this name after it made its way to Europe via the trade route through Turkey.

It is found in many countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Australia, China, Israel, Tanzania and the USA.

A pure blue colour is rare and most pieces are part of a Turquoise matrix i.e veins which may be brown, dark grey or black.

With a hardness of 5 -6, care does need to be taken when wearing this gem. It is therefore best to wear it in a necklace, pendant or a ring that is not worn daily and to avoid exposure to chemicals, perfume and cosmetics.

There are very convincing synthetics and imitations on the market so care needs to be taken when selecting the right stone. Some stones are dyed to enhance their colour (which will fade over time) and synthetics are made in a laboratory, not in nature. Waxing and oiling is a common treatment to natural Turquoise, creating a wetting effect and enhancing the colour and lustre.

What is Tanzanite?

Tanzanite is variety of the mineral Zoisite and comes in colours of blue to violet and all shades in between.

It was given its name by Tiffany and Co after the country it was founded in, Tanzania, and occurs mostly in a brownish colour. When heat treated, either underground naturally or by heat treatment in a laboratory this creates the vibrant purple-blue hue Tanzanite is well known for.

With a harness 6.5-7 on the Mohs’ hardness scale, this stone is ideal for pendant and earrings, care must be taken when wearing in rings for everyday.

Newer technology has been observed recently where Tanzanite has been enhanced in colour due to a coating applied to the gemstone, made of cobalt or titanium. This is a treatment that MUST be disclosed at time of purchase as it not permanent and will wear off over time.

Our newsletter from July 2017 which you can view here will provide some further information on this vibrant stone.

What is Zircon?

The derivation of the name of this stone is uncertain. Coming in a variety of colours, from colourless, yellow, brown, blue and even green.

With a hardness 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs’ hardness scale, care must be taken when wearing in rings but ideal for pendants and earrings. Due to its high refractive index and dispersion of light it displays strong brilliance and fire.

The blue type of Zircon is mostly heat treated in a furnace to obtain the colour and is a stable form of treatment.

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